Tatsuya Takahashi at his home workshop in early 2017, surrounded by a few of his signature machines. Akemi Kurosaka/Courtesy of the artist hide caption
In music and the culture it reflects, 2017 was predictably unpredictable: idols fell, empires shook, consensus was scarce. This conversation is one of five on The Record with artists, makers and thinkers whose work captured something unique about a chaotic year, and hinted at bigger revelations around the bend.
Last summer, killing time on a work trip in Manhattan, I wandered into the Guitar Center near Union Square. An hour later I was still there, late for an appointment but having a hard time leaving.
On the basement level, away from the "Stairway To Heaven" shredders on the main floor, tucked between pristine stage pianos and aggressively vintage analog noisemakers, was a strange and beautiful object from which I couldn't seem to tear myself away. I'm no keyboard player, but nor was this like any keyboard I'd ever seen: its face a muted silver, dotted with rubber knobs pleasing to the touch, the control panel curved slightly upward as if to say, c'mere, you. In one corner was a postage stamp-sized screen on which an animated line danced and wobbled when I pressed down a key, the pattern changing with the music as I tested buttons and sliders one by one.